Just returned from a week at the Grand Pineapple,
the hotel is not in St John as many have stated, it is on the other side of the island in St Philip; in Log Bay, which is near Devil’s Bridge.
I think the confusion regarding the location comes from the PO box address used by the hotel being in St John, it is quite a distance between the two locations, a taxi trip is US$30 one way.
However don’t let that put you off, Long Bay is a fantastic stretch of beach, at one end it has soft powdery sand, clear waters perfect for swimming, splashing around or water sports, at the other there is a large coral reef full of fish if you fancy snookering, its probably one of the best beaches on the island as its got a bit of everything.
The hotel itself is quite old, some would say full of charm, it certainly is not like one of the flat pack Riu type things, the grounds are kept immaculately clean and maintained by the staff
I stayed in a garden room, which was basic, but functional, although it could benefit from a refit, one slight negative there was no fridge.
The hotel attracts a good mature crowed and we did not see any larger louts, the choice of food is quite limited but is of quality rather than quantity, some of the restaurants require a reservation which should be made at the “soon come back” desk near the main bar the day before as early as possible, the food in the pineapple grill was especially good and worth a mention.
I don’t think they have really helped themselves branding it as a sandals resort; its not, and if you book it thinking it is you will be disappointed.
Only one negative and that is in every other hotel I have stayed in around the world you normally get a folder in the hotel room giving some details about the resort, in the case of the grand pineapple there was no folder, this would have been helpful because the beach is crescent shaped and only half of it belongs to the hotel this was not made clear.
The sun loungers at the end of the beach not owned by the hotel; near the coral reef are not the hotels property, and are chargeable by the beach vendors at a rate that changes depending how stupid you look, we sat on them and after three hours were approached by a guy demanding $50 (I must look really stupid) needless to say we refused to pay as we thought he was trying to scam us, he then went running to the hotel threatening to call the police.
We where eventually accosted on the beach in full view of other guests by the hotel manager and her head of security recommending we pay the vendor, very unprofessional common sense would have said that you take the guests to one side to deal with the matter, better still you would have thought the hotel would have told the vendor to get lost and stop trying to exploit their guests, the hotel blamed us for not attending the welcome meeting (jet lag) and pointed out a small sign on the wall of one of the buildings saying “you are now leaving our property”
apart from this blip The rest of the staff where warm welcoming and professional and always greeted you with a hello and good morning. Overall the holiday was good, and we would return (in fact I’m already missing it )
If you have any questions please ask